Best of 2014: Romancing the Billionaire by Jessica Clare

Romancing the Billionaire (Jessica Clare)

First of all, I have to apologize for being terribly, horribly behind on posting and my best books of 2014 list.  The holidays came and hijacked me, and I just haven’t had a chance to post or update or do much of anything since then.  As a matter of fact, I am still on vacation, and I will be until January 3.  I have a few more of these posts written, but I still have several more to write.  Between my day job and rewrites on The Demon Within, I am completely, utterly, massively burned out.  My brain is just exhausted, and I need this last week of peace and quiet before I can get back to the grindstone again.  So I’ll do my best.  The best of posts will get published, but I won’t get all 10 up before the end of the year.

With that out of the way, the next pick in my best books of 2014 is Romancing the Billionaire by Jessica Clare.

The blurb:

The Billionaire Boys Club is a secret society. Six men of astonishing wealth. But there’s one thing money can’t buy. When it comes to love, success doesn’t come so easily…

Jonathan Lyons. Playboy, billionaire, and adventurer, he lives life on the edge. When he hears that his mentor, Dr. Phineas DeWitt, had a secret journal that leads to a legendary artifact, Jonathan takes action. It stirs his blood, but it comes with a heady challenge: DeWitt’s daughter Violet. She has what Jonathan needs. And she’s not giving it up it to the man who broke her heart.

Violet is Jonathan’s weakness—he’s still in love despite their volatile breakup a decade ago. But Violet’s memories have a sharper edge. She’s never forgiven him for abandoning her. Or so she thought. When Jonathan’s attentions turn seductive, she’s in danger of falling for him all over again. And she can’t help but wonder…does he really want her, or just what she’s hiding?

Jessica Clare’s Billionaire Boys Club series has been a not-so-guilty pleasure of mine for about a year now.  Ever since I read Beauty and the Billionaire—which featured the beauty and the beast trope, one of my personal favorites—I’ve been hooked.  These fun, frothy books feature just the right combination of sexy romance and fantasy indulgence—how many among us get to date billionaires?—to whet your appetite when you’re in the mood for some light reading.

This installment features Violet, a schoolteacher whose workaholic, absentee father has just died, and Jonathan, Violet’s long-ago lover and her father’s former protégée.  Jonathan and Violet had a passionate relationship as teenagers, and they parted under bad circumstances.  Ten years later, they’re drawn together again after the death of Violet’s father to follow through with his last wishes: a scavenger hunt that takes them through their own shared past.

I’m a big fan of the trope of lovers reuniting after a long time apart; it always seems to give the relationship more weight and depth, not to mention more conflict.  Violet and Jonathan have a lot of hurt and misunderstanding to overcome before they can hope to be together again.  It’s also great to read about a couple whose relationship has already evolved beyond that initial stage of excitement and awkwardness.  Violet and Jonathan’s interaction is, at least at first, tinged with bitterness and regret, but there’s also this witty rapport that comes out of their mutual knowledge of one another.

This is not going to be the book for everyone.  It’s definitely lighter than my usual fare, and the only fantasy element is the dream of mingling with the 1%.  But it’s well-written and fun, with mystery and romance that keep you engaged throughout.  It’s also easy to jump in at any point in the series, so feel free to pick this one up first and work your way backward.

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